05/30/15 6:54am

Focuses on Classroom Needs

ACPSsquarelogoOn May 28, the Alexandria City School Board approved a Combined Funds Budget of $261.69 million for FY 2016, which included an appropriation from the City of $198.81 million. Details on the budget may be found at this link.

The overall budget increased by only 2.9 percent compared to last year, despite a 3.7 percent growth in projected enrollment for FY 2016. The total average cost per pupil for FY 2016 is $16,858, a 1.7 percent decrease from the FY 2015 cost per pupil of $17,153.

The budget features a realignment of resources, focusing on the classroom, providing differentiated supports and services to a growing and diverse student population, while improving facilities and attracting and retaining excellent staff with a full step increase.

The School Board focused on funding instructional support, including additional resources for students with special needs and expanding summer learning opportunities. It also allocated funds to move ahead with its planned implementation of the International Academy Program into Francis C. Hammond Middle School.

The School Board funded additional assistant principals at John Adams and William Ramsay Elementary Schools and additional parent liaisons to maintain student support programs that are currently in place.

“In a tight fiscal climate, it is important that we continue to drive our resources into the classroom. We are continuing to support our teachers by ensuring we attract and retain the best so that we can remain focused on becoming a high-performing school division,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.

The School Board also approved the FY 2016 Capital Improvement Program (CIP) budget of $44.31 million, offset by $5.50 million of prior year funds. This budget includes the planned expansion of Patrick Henry Elementary School into a PreK-8 school for 800 students. The School Board is presently considering whether to complete this expansion through renovation or construction of a new school building on the Patrick Henry site.

The final CIP budget also includes funds for planning and design of future projects, playground improvements across several schools and smaller repairs such as roofing work at George Washington Middle School. However, it does not include sufficient funds to move ahead with the expansion of classrooms at the Minnie Howard campus of T.C. Williams High School.

“This budget reflects the Board’s priority to support classroom needs first. Capacity is part of that equation and is something which we cannot ignore. We need to provide a creative solution for the capacity issues in order to ensure equity within our school buildings,” said School Board Chair Karen Graf.

05/29/15 9:18pm

Franklin P. Backus Courthouse IMG_1096
Due to an electrical problem (a blown transformer), the Alexandria Courthouse (located at 520 King St.) is closed until Monday, June 1.

For case or schedule information, call the clerk of the applicable court (see link above) once the Courthouse reopens on Monday.

City office telephones are experiencing intermittent outages due to the electrical problem; however, the City’s emergency 911 service and emergency hotlines are not affected.

(Flickr Pool photo by OZinOH, on Flickr)

05/29/15 5:21pm

Memorial Bridge
Route 7Y from Lincolnia will detour due to major construction on the Arlington Memorial Bridge. During this time, Metrobus will not miss any bus stops.

7Y Lincolnia-North Fairlington southbound to Lincolnia

  • Regular route to Constitution Avenue & 23rd Street NW
  • Continue Constitution Avenue NW to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Bridge
  • Bear right onto exit 50, Arlington Boulevard
  • Bear right onto Key Bridge exit
  • Right on N. Lynn Street
  • Right on Wilson Boulevard
  • Continue Jefferson Davis Highway S.
  • Resume regular route

7Y Lincolnia-North Fairlington northbound to the Convention Center

  • Regular route to Jefferson Davis Highway N.
  • Continue on Jefferson Davis Highway N.
  • Bear left toward Wilson Boulevard to Rosslyn exit
  • Right on N. Lynn St
  • Right on Lee Highway
  • Continue Theodore Roosevelt Bridge Route 50 East
  • Resume regular route

(Photo by ehpien, on Flickr)

05/29/15 4:24pm

ACPSsquarelogoOn Thursday, May 28, the Alexandria City School Board voted unanimously to recognize the contributions made by military personnel and agreed to work to accommodate military school children at their neighborhood school.

The policy aims to ensure that children whose parents move due to military-related relocations do not suffer due to frequent relocations. It also ensures that children can return to a neighborhood school they have previously attended prior to a military posting.

The policy is aligned with the Interstate Compact on Educational Opportunity for Military Children, to which Virginia is party. Through signing on to this compact, Virginia has recognized this group of school children as having unique needs.

Beginning in school year 2015-16, the Virginia Department of Education is requiring all school divisions in Virginia to establish a process for the identification of newly enrolled students who reside with a parent or guardian in the uniformed services.

The Compact requires school divisions to identify such students “for the purposes of enhancing the funding and quality of services provided to serve the unique needs of uniformed services-connected students residing in the Commonwealth.”

“ACPS is proud to support the steps designed to provide flexibility and cooperation between the school division, families and the military child in order to achieve educational success for these students. We want to be champions for all ACPS students,” said Superintendent Alvin L. Crawley.